Body camera video shows train slammed into Colorado police cruiser with woman inside


As Colorado police searched Yareni Rios-Gonzalez’s truck on the night of September 16, a train horn sounded in the distance.

Officers appeared to take notice of the train only when it approached within yards of a police cruiser parked on the tracks – with Rios-Gonzalez handcuffed inside, according to authorities and body camera footage. A male officer standing by the tracks watched the approaching train and became frantic, footage shows.

“Stay back!” He shouted.

Dash camera video shows him quickly driving away from the vehicle just before the train rams into it.

“Oh my God. Oh my God!” said a female officer as the train collided with the cruiser, according to her body camera footage.

Rios-Gonzalez, 20, suffered multiple injuries but is expected to survive, authorities said. A Platteville Police Department officer has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated, Colorado Public Radio reported.

The Fort Lupton Police Department released an edited eight-minute clip from body cameras and dash cams on Friday that shows the events leading up to the collision, as well as when the train struck the department’s vehicle. Platteville Police Department. It was published at various press organs.

On the evening of Sept. 16, police received a call about a road rage incident involving a firearm, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. A Platteville officer stopped a suspicious vehicle being driven by Rios-Gonzalez, and Rios-Gonzalez pulled over just past the train tracks, with the officer directly behind her, the CBI said.

Two Fort Lupton police officers arrived to help arrest Rios-Gonzalez and search his truck. Upon arrival, one of those officers drew his gun and took cover behind Platteville’s patrol vehicle parked in the middle of the train tracks, his body camera video shows. Within about three minutes, officers ordered Rios-Gonzalez to drop his cell phone, kneel on the ground, and raise his hands. The female officer then handcuffed Rios-Gonzalez and put her in the vehicle on the tracks.

As Rios-Gonzalez was handcuffed, she repeatedly asked what was going on.

“I’m so confused,” she said before being put into the police car, according to the footage. About a minute later, a train horn could be heard in the background.

As officers discussed the possibility that Rios-Gonzalez may have thrown something out the window before the stop, the train’s horn became louder and more frequent, footage shows. Officers only appeared to react moments before the collision.

Body camera footage belonging to a male officer standing near the tracks shows him staring into the light of the approaching train before telling other officers to stay back. He looked both ways from the police vehicle to the train, then pulled away from the tracks seconds before the train collided with the vehicle, dash cam video shows.

After the collision, the female officer requested emergency medical assistance, according to her body camera footage. “The suspect was in the vehicle that was hit by the train,” she said.

The video clip briefly shows officers running towards the crumpled police vehicle on the side of the tracks before switching to Weld County Sheriff’s deputies performing a second search of Rios-Gonzalez’s truck and discussing his identification.

The Fort Lupton Police Department said in a Facebook post last week that it was “fully cooperating with the CBI investigation,” adding that it was investigating “the initial criminal report.” The Weld County District Attorney’s Office has so far not filed charges against Rios-Gonzalez or any of the officers, a spokeswoman told CNN.

Neither police department responded to a Washington Post request for comment Sunday night.

A Rios-Gonzalez attorney, Paul Wilkinson, told the Denver Post that the situation could have been avoided if the Platteville policeman had parked anywhere except on the train tracks.

“You never park on a train track,” he said, adding, “It’s kind of unbelievable that they did something like that.”

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